In Europe, the struggling economy has seen the revitalization of a practice known as “suspended coffee” — a pay it forward tradition that is said to have begun in the Italian city of Naples. It became commonplace, particularly in the wake of WWII, for generous customers to pay for two coffees and leave one for someone who couldn’t afford to pay for a cup themselves. “It was a beautiful custom,” says Neapolitan writer Luciano de Crescenzo, who has written a book on the tradition of suspended coffee, or “caffè sospeso” as it is known in Italian. “When a person who had a break of good luck entered a cafe and ordered a cup of coffee, he didn’t pay just for one, but for two,” de Crescenzo told reporters at NPR.
It makes sense that this would happen in Naples, which prides itself in having the best coffee in Italy, and where coffee is considered not a luxury, but a basic human right. When the Italian economy picked up postwar, the tradition became something that was confined more to the Christmas season. But with the European debt crisis raging and unemployment rates soaring, the generous practice is seeing a resurgence — not only in Italy but all across Europe and the rest of the world. There’s even Coffee Sharing site devoted to the fostering and growth of this act of anonymous generosity.
Here at Organo Gold, we applaud anything that involves coffee and generosity. Our generosity, and that of the OG Family, comes under the umbrella of OG Cares, that does everything from help foster self-esteem in young people to help those in need after natural disasters. This year, in the wake of the devastating typhoon in our CEO’s birthplace, the Philippines, OG Cares went into overdrive, donating products and sending people to help with distribution and disaster relief after the damaging storms.
We’re also a big fan of the sharing is caring philosophy when it comes to coffee. So OG Family members, be sure to always have extra sample packs on hand to share with people you meet.